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RECAP: Preds’ pair to open 3rd period leads to win over Jackets

Feb 20, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) reacts as Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno (71) deflects the puck in the air in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Goals by Calle Jarnkrok — his second of the game — and Filip Forsberg in the opening minute of the third period sent the visiting Nashville Predators to a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday night.

Pekka Rinne stopped 21 shots for the Predators, who claimed their second road win of the season in eight tries in well-deserved fashion, despite blowing a two-goal lead en route to the win.

With the score tied 2-2, the Predators pulled away with a pair of goals by the 45-second mark of the third period, starting with Jarnkrok’s second of the game just 16 seconds into the period. Matt Duchene kept the puck in the offensive zone and his shot attempt ricocheted off a defender’s stick right to Jarnkrok, who ripped a top-corner effort for the game-winning goal.

Forsberg added the insurance marker 29 seconds later when he stole the puck from Andrew Peeke near the blueline and raced to the net before sending a glove-side shot into the net.

Blue Jackets starting goalie Elvis Merzlikins — who returned to action this week after missing a handful of games — left the game due to injury shortly after it became a 4-2 game, having made 35 saves. Joonas Korpisalo stopped six shots in his relief appearance.

Having lost five of their previous six games, the Predators received a desperately needed hot start with a pair of first-period goals. Jarnkrok’s power-play goal opened the scoring 13 minutes into the affair when he pounced on a rebound.

Then, Colton Sissons doubled the lead at the 16:49 mark. Sissons drove to the net during a rush up the ice, and converted a perfect feed from Luke Kunin to cap an outstanding period for the visitors.

Nashville, which managed only seven first-period goals in its first 16 games of the season, put up 16 shots on goal in the opening period and held Columbus — which has been a great first-period team this season — to just six shots on goal, none in the final 14:53 of the frame.

Boone Jenner, however, gave the hosts life with a short-handed goal 3:46 into the second period — which happened to be his team’s first shot of the period. Jenner drove to the net and redirected a Scott Harrington’s crossing pass.

Less than two minutes later, Gabriel Carlsson converted a cross-ice pass from Oliver Bjorkstrand to collect his first career goal to tie the game 2-2.

–Field Level Media